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The following is a review of the Sony SRSX55/BLK Powerful Portable Bluetooth Speaker, received as part of the Amazon Vine program.
Sounds great to me
First, I feel as though any review about audio equipment requires a disclaimer if you're not an audiophile. So, "I'm not an audiophile."
That said, after almost a month of using the Sony SRSX55 I can honestly say that it sounds great to me.
Thus far I've used the device for playback of music over Bluetooth from an Android device, as well as audio from an Xbox One (plugged via HDMI to a monitor, which output over the speaker connection).
Starting with the audio playback, I found the Bluetooth pairing to be extremely easy to setup on the two Android devices I tried. I didn't test the limits of the connection, but for normal usage in my apartment I had no connectivity issues. I tried a large range of music genres, like pop, rock, EDM, etcetera (I think everything but country) and didn't notice any issues with the sound.
I did have a slight issue with the volume initially, until I realized the proper way to set the volume on the speaker and what the Android devices were setting via Bluetooth. Before figuring this out my jump from nothing to something was too far.
As for the wired audio connection, it was easy enough to switch between it and the Bluetooth connection, as to be expected. As with music, I noticed no sound issues; it too sounded great. And, since the monitor I was using doesn't have speakers, replaced two bulky speakers with this slim beast.
So, for me, sound is great on this. But what about the hardware itself?
Honestly I had no issues with the actual speakers. They're a pretty nice size and they look sleek. I did have slight issues with the volume buttons, as it seemed like the volume was going down instead of up when I'd press the volume up button. This was usually only the first time I touched the device after some amount of time (I had turned it on and was listening to something) and wasn't consistent enough for me to blame it on the speakers instead of my hands.
There is an annoying tone when you turn off the speakers, the volume of which doesn't appear to be consistent with the set volume. Given that there are lights when the device is on, I'm not sure why the tone was necessary.
Being able to power another device via the USB connection is nice, but I have not yet used it enough to say how well it works. But I like the idea and personally know people who could benefit from something like this.
However, the power plug is massive. I'm not sure why it needs to be so large, but it does block off connections on a power cord (technically UPS, with plugs a standard distance apart) due to the width of the block. It would have been nice if this was a standard size.
The weight of the speaker is also a little odd, with one end being heavier than the other. This results in a slight imbalance when holding it, but doesn't impact the stability of the speakers when set down.
Now the question of cost. Digging into it, it appears that most publications call this a fair alternative to nicer Bose speakers. This leads me to strongly believe that a non-audiophile such as myself is probably not the demographic they're marketing to. If, like me, you're looking for some nice speakers with an audio in, Bluetooth connectivity, and possibly portability, you can probably get something cheaper. But if you do go with these, know that you'll be getting something even audiophiles might enjoy.
The negatives mentioned above are minor enough that I give the Sony SRSX55/BLK Powerful Portable Bluetooth Speaker a full five of five stars.